Since many people have asked "what's taking so long" and "what new features will Book II have", here is a list of the new features that are in the game now or currently being worked on.
This list was last updated December 2008.
This is a very cool list. Of course, I have some comments, and questions...
* Additional save game slots (20 total)
Will there be option to insert an "Are you sure you want to save this?" dialog box in the saving process?
I can tell you I have accidentally overwritten previously saved characters on more than one occasion with the current system, and I think a final "Are you sure you want to save this?" dialog box as a final step in saving a game might have saved me from making a mistake a few times.
* Increased number of Inventory slots (79 total)
Will items, even including things like swords & armor, auto-stack on their own in the inventory, or we will still have to manually stack them ourselves (and in cases like weapons and armor, we can't stack them no matter what) like we have to do in Book I?
* New Key Ring feature: any key acquired is placed on a virtual key ring and does not take up inventory space.
* Enhanced Alchemy mixer with one-click mixing via a built-in recipe book
* Two "equipment configuration" presets for convenient swapping of armor and weapons sets.
I have to say, I've loved the sound of each of these since I first heard about them, way back when...
* You can now dump torches by right-clicking on the torch icon.
* Walking via keyboard
* "Health meters" on objects while bashing show exactly how much structural integrity remains
These are very
welcome additions to the game, especially the first two.
* 7 new spells; several existing spells have been altered/upgraded.
Meanwhile, I'm just waiting to see whether we'll be able to mix our own Predator Sight potions in Book II.
That said, I'm glad spells have been reworked, as I was disappointed in a few of them (e.g. Sunder Flesh & Smite, to name two) in Book I.
* Significant skill rebalancing for more unified progression.
* Weapons and armor now deteriorate realistically with use (optional). Increasing your weapon and armor skills slows deterioration rate, and the Repair Skill can be used to fix damaged equipment.
* Food and Water now a factor in survival. Long treks into deep dungeons will require planning and preparation. (Optional)
* Powder kegs can now be picked up and dropped in new locations which makes for strategic game play options.
* Game world objects more dynamic: explosions and fire can affect objects; more objects are usable.
* New difficulty modes and tracked statistics add to replay value.
* Difficulty settings for easier or more challenging gameplay.
I'll be very interest to see how these work out...
* In the Character Editor, pressing F1-F5 now loads premade character data into the editor and allows you to modify it from there, rather than just automatically starting the game with a pre-designed character.
This is where I have a major question - can you go into more detail (either now, or perhaps when the article is released) on exactly how the character creation screen has been "redesigned" (I'm pretty sure that's how you've described it previously)?
For example, will we finally be able to "deselect" a skill after choosing it when creating a character (something you can't seem to do now in Book I - which forces you to start the whole process over from scratch)?
Also, and I've asked for this before - will we be able to keep track of in-game
days spent playing in Book II? (While knowing how many real hours I've played is nice, I've always wanted to keep track of in-game days/dates.)
Finally, has the Lore/recognize unknown items portion of the game been reworked? (I was always frustrated that boosting my Intelligence even to 15 or 17 wouldn't allow me to recognize even simple items like "Large Emeralds" and "Large Rubies" or mid-level, non-magical weapons and armor in Book I...)
Thanks a bunch for the update!